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Sealed Source Safety Training for Ni-63 ECD Sources. Radiological & Environmental Management Purdue University. Training Goals. Basic Radiation Safety Principles Familiarization with Regulations Purdue’s Policies and Procedures. Why do I need training?.

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sealed source safety training for ni 63 ecd sources

Sealed Source Safety Training for Ni-63 ECD Sources

Radiological & Environmental Management

Purdue University

training goals
Training Goals
  • Basic Radiation Safety Principles
  • Familiarization with Regulations
  • Purdue’s Policies and Procedures
why do i need training
Why do I need training?
  • The gas chromatograph you possess contains an ECD (electron capture detector)
  • The detector has a foil which can contain up to 15 mCi of Ni-63 (which is a radioactive isotope)
  • The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission require training for individuals that use or possess radioactive material
  • When used properly, there is no measurable radiation exposure
what is radioactivity
What is radioactivity?
  • Radioactivity is an energy
    • This energy is produced when an unstable nucleus spontaneously emits particles and/or electromagnetic radiation
  • Radioactive material sources
    • Sources are characterized as either sealed or unsealed (or “open”)
    • To qualify as a “sealed” source, the source must pass a battery of tests and be certified under NRC regulations
    • The Ni-63 ECD is a plated foil source that retains its integrity to prevent release of radioactive material
ionizing radiation types
Ionizing Radiation Types

Ni-63 decays by low energy

Beta emission

  • Alpha
    • Molecularly large particle (2 protons and 2 neutrons), give up their energy in a short distance (approximately 1 ½ inches in air)
  • Beta
    • Smaller particle (electron), distance traveled ranges from several inches to a few feet (depending on its energy)
  • Gamma
    • Non-particulate energy wave, can travel several feet and easily penetrates material with low atomic mass
  • Neutron
    • Neutral particle, can travel greater distances than gamma radiation and easily penetrate material with low hydrogen ion concentrations
risks of radiation exposure
Risks of Radiation Exposure
  • An average person in the United States receives annual radiation dose of ~620mrem, which includes exposure received from cosmic and natural radiation, medical treatment, and consumer products.
  • Large doses of radiation have been known to increase risk of cancer, birth defects, and possibly genetic effects.
  • Low doses seem to show no statistical differences in biological risk; however, some people believe there is risk at all levels above background exposure.
  • At radiation levels around 1 rem, it has been estimated that the increased incidence of cancer is 0.03% - the normal incidence of cancer for the average person is 25%.
  • Risk of developing genetic effects is half the risk of cancer.
4 factors to reduce exposure
4 Factors to Reduce Exposure
  • It is the goal of our facility to reduce radiation exposures to be As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA). We achieve this goal using:
    • Contamination Control
      • gloves, lab coats, fume hoods, absorbent paper
    • Time
      • do dry run, practice procedure to minimize time
    • Distance
      • a little distance between you and a source can significantly decrease your exposure from it (follows the “Inverse-Square Law”)
    • Shielding
      • Use proper shielding between you and a source to decrease personal exposure
        • betas - wood, Plexiglas
        • gammas - lead, leaded glass

Due to the low energy of the beta particle, contamination

control is the only factor needed.

ionizing radiation shielding
Ionizing Radiation Shielding
  • Different shields are needed to minimize external exposure
rules governing use of radionuclides
Rules Governing Use of Radionuclides
  • Must be licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or state agency
  • Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) develops and maintains a Radiation Safety Manual, which must be followed by individuals working under the NRC license, and it is enforceable by law
applicable regulations
Applicable Regulations
  • 10CFR19
    • Rights and responsibilities
  • 10CFR20
    • Standards for protection against radiation
      • Declared pregnant worker
      • Security of radioactive materials
10cfr part 19 required instruction to workers
10CFR Part 19Required instruction to workers
  • Rights
    • to be informed of storage, transfer, and use of radioactive materials
    • to further instruction on health protection problems associated with radiation exposure and procedures to minimize exposure
    • to receive radiation exposure history
    • to request an NRC inspection
    • to be instructed in and required to observe applicable provisions of NRC regulations and licenses
    • to be instructed in the appropriate response to warnings
nrc policy statement
NRC Policy Statement
  • Retaliation against employees or students engaged in protected activities, whether they have raised safety concerns within the University or to the NRC, will not be tolerated
  • Problems should be addressed within the existing University hierarchy – contact the radiation safety office if you have any concerns regarding issues involving radioactive materials.
10cfr20 contents
10CFR20 Contents
  • Occupational dose limits
  • Surveys and monitoring
  • Precautionary procedures
  • Waste disposal
  • Records of surveys
  • Enforcement
  • Storage and control of licensed material
10cfr20 occupational dose limits
10CFR20Occupational Dose Limits

All dose limits include exposure from both internal and external sources.

radiation units
Radiation Units
  • Exposure= ability of photons to ionize air
    • Roentgen (milliroentgen, mR)
    • Geiger-Mueller readings
  • Absorbed Dose= energy deposited in matter
    • Rad (millirad, mrad)
  • Dose Equivalent= biological weighted absorbed dose (tissue)
    • rem (millirem, mrem)
    • Film badge
acute effects of radiation exposure
Acute Effects of Radiation Exposure
  • Non-stochastic (cause and effect)
  • Threshold
  • Lethal Dose (LD50) is about 600 rad
  • Examples
    • erythema (skin reddening)
    • blood changes (white blood cells)
    • Gastrointestinal Syndrome

These effects are not possible under any circumstances

with ECD sealed sources

delayed effects of radiation exposure
Delayed Effects of Radiation Exposure
  • Stochastic (by chance, statistical basis)
  • No threshold
    • Cancer
    • Leukemia
    • Cataracts
    • Life Shortening
  • Data extrapolated from high dose data

If the integrity of the ECD source is maintained there is

no measurable radiation exposure.

risk analysis
Risk Analysis
  • High doses - there is a correlation between dose and effect
  • Low doses (<10 rem) - it is unclear what the risk is at this level
  • Hormesis - low doses of radiation may be beneficial
  • No surveys by the user are required for routine ECD use
  • REM will be conducting “leak tests” on sealed sources to evaluate whether the source containment is intact
    • this will be done at 6 month intervals.

If there is damage to the ECD or gas chromatograph

please notify REM and a survey will be performed.

security nrc area of emphasis
SecurityNRC Area of Emphasis
  • Secure laboratories when unoccupied
  • Challenge visitors or unauthorized individuals
  • REM accounts for RAM through inventory records

The goal is to prevent unauthorized access

or use of radioactive materials.

checklist for compliance and safety
Checklist for compliance and safety
  • Operate the GC only within the parameters established by the manufacturer
  • Never open or attempt to service the ECD on your own- cleaning must be done by an authorized provider
  • Notify REM before moving or disposal of the GC
  • Ensure that the GC is labeled as containing radioactive material
  • Notify REM immediately is the unit or source is lost or missing
  • Notify REM for shipment of the source for service, Department of Transportation rules must be followed for shipment
emergency procedures
Emergency Procedures
  • Call 911
  • Assist personnel
  • Monitor personnel
  • Control area - inform other workers
  • Notify radiation safety office
severe personal injury
Severe Personal Injury
  • Medical needs come first! Postpone monitoring, call 911, notify of radioactive material use
  • Wait for medical personnel - calmly advise radioactive materials may be involved if that is the case
  • Notify REM to assess if there may be contamination from the source
  • Always use ALARA
  • No eating, drinking, or smoking in labs
  • Always secure materials, lock doors
  • Never allow unauthorized users access to radioactive materials
  • Call REM for any related questions (49-46371)
  • All Emergencies – call 911
rem s radiation safety group
REM’s Radiation Safety Group
  • James F. Schweitzer, Ph.D. 49-42350

Radiation Safety Officer [email protected]

  • Mary J. R. Handy, CLSO 49-42721

Laser Safety Officer, Assistant RSO [email protected]

  • Chris Echterling 49-41478

Health Physicist [email protected]

  • Sharon K. Rudolph 49-47969

Isotope Ordering & Distribution [email protected]

  • Jerry J. Gibbs 49-40207

Waste Handling & Meter Calibration [email protected]

  • Mike Nicholson 49-40205

Waste Handling & Animal Hospital Support [email protected]

  • REM Main Office 49-46371

Civil Engineering Building, Room B173

  • Complete the test indicated below.
  • You must have a minimum score of 75% to pass
  • Complete a Form A-4(make sure that both you AND your Principal Investigator have signed the form).
    • Send your Form A-4 through campus mail to Sharon Rudolph/REM/CIVL.

Click here to begin the test.